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The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything [Hardcover]

Ken Robinson , Lou Aronica
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 13 2009

From one of the world's leading thinkers and speakers on creativity and self-fulfillment, a breakthrough book about talent, passion, and achievement

The element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. The Element draws on the stories of a wide range of people, from ex-Beatle Paul McCartney to Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons; from Meg Ryan to Gillian Lynne, who choreographed the Broadway productions of Cats and The Phantom of the Opera; and from writer Arianna Huffington to renowned physicist Richard Feynman and others, including business leaders and athletes. It explores the components of this new paradigm: The diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of commitment to our own capabilities.

With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the element and those that stifle that possibility. He shows that age and occupation are no barrier, and that once we have found our path we can help others to do so as well. The Element shows the vital need to enhance creativity and innovation by thinking differently about human resources and imagination. It is also an essential strategy for transforming education, business, and communities to meet the challenges of living and succeeding in the twenty-first century.

Frequently Bought Together

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything + Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life + Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative
Price For All Three: CDN$ 57.74

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The Element offers life-altering insights about the discovery of your true best self.” —Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
“Ken Robinson presents the theme of creativity and innovation in a way that makes you want to go out and make your dreams a reality. In his wonderfully easy-to-read and entertaining style he presents the stories of many who have done just that. . . . It is a book that lightens and lifts the minds and hearts of all who read it.” —Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., bestselling author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway® and Life is Huge!
“A great and inspiring book. It’s been said that an unexamined life is not worth living. True enough and Ken Robinson doesn’t let us off the hook. After the first page, you have to abandon your ego and look for your own gifts and graces.” —Warren Bennis, author of On Becoming a Leader: The Leadership Classic

“Robinson (Out of Our Minds), renowned in the areas of creativity development, innovation, and human resources, tackles the challenge of determining and pursuing work that is aligned with individual talents and passions to achieve well-being and success. . . . Motivating and persuasive, this entertaining and inspiring book will appeal to a wide audience.” —Publishers Weekly
“Ken Robinson is a remarkable man, one of the few who really look at and into you, so he makes you feel at ease and happy. I’m proud to be in his book as one of the people he feels attained the Element. Reading his book helps you pinpoint the search we must all make to achieve the best in us.” —Gillian Lynne, choreographer, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera
“While the world is changing faster than ever, our organizations, our schools, and too often our minds are locked in the habits of the past. The result is a massive waste of human talent. The Element is a passionate and persuasive appeal to think differently about ourselves and how to face the future.” —Alvin Toffler, author of The Future Shock
“A brilliant and compelling look at creativity, and the path to succeed in the global world of tomorrow.” —Harry Lodge, co-author of Younger Next Year

About the Author

Ken Robinson, PHD, is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation, and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, nonprofit organizations, and some of the world's leading cultural organizations. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Why did Ken Robinson write this book? He explains in his Introduction: "My aim in writing it [with Lou Aroniva's assistance] is to offer a richer vision of human ability and creativity and of the benefits to us all of connecting properly with our individual talents and passions. This book is about issues that are of fundamental importance in our lives and in the lives of our children, our students, and the people we work with. I use the term [in italics] the Element [end italics] to describe the place where the things we love and the things we are good at come together. I believe it is essential that each of us find his or her Element, not simply because it will make us more fulfilled but because, as the world evolves, the very future of our communities and institutions will depend on it." Throughout his narrative, Robinson cites dozens of examples of people who have made the best of themselves and of others by embracing "a richer conception of human capacity." They have embraced the Element.

At one point, Robinson poses an important question to his reader: How are you intelligent? "Knowing that intelligence is diverse, dynamic, and distinctive allows you to address that question in new ways. This is one of the core elements of the Element." When people are in what is often referred to as "the zone," they are deep in the heart of the Element. "We become focused and intent. We live in the moment. We become lost in the experience and perform at our peak. Our breathing changes, our minds merge with our bodies, and we feel ourselves drawn effortlessly into the heart of the Element." I vividly recall Michael Jordan sinking one three-point shot after another ("all net"), especially in playoff games.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For thinkers with a heart Sept. 28 2009
By Mr
I first heard about Sir Ken from his funny and interesting TED video: [...]

This engaging book takes you beyond just being "in the zone", and into being "in your element". Sir Ken says that 'The Element' is not so much about creativity, as it is about imagination.

In Sir Ken's words: "The Element is where natural talent meets personal passion... It looks at the critical conditions that enable us to find the Element in ourselves and in others, and the obstacles that get in the way... It explores the components of this new paradigm: The diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of commitment to our own capabilities."

Read it. Love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Let School Get in the Way of Your Education March 7 2010
Picked up this book after watching his TED talk.

If you are currently wondering such things as:

"What will they think if I do this?"
"Will I be good enough?"
"Do I want to do this for love or for money?"

then this book is probably for you.

Very heartfelt from beginning to end.

Especially engaging for me because I'm deciding between pursuing a Masters degree or one of my true passions in life instead.

The answer is clear after having read this book. Thanks Ken!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Element" should help you find yours! June 7 2009
Read this book to find out why you or someone you know, that was full of "potential," seemed to "fall short" especially in their first 13 years of school. Sir Ken is an insightful educator that helps the masses, seduced by First World government's focus on accountability, understand what is really important in education. With humour and candor, Sir Ken Robinson brilliantly explains the importance of fostering creativity.For those who truly want to find out how educate with life impact!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read Dec 31 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A thoughtful, well researched and at times humorous insightful look at how to discover your true talents. A worthwhile buy if you are at all curious about yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Robinson! June 24 2013
By Marc
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very good book!
learning lots and still learning from it, wonderful real life stories and wonderful examples. Love it!
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